Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Chase Away the Writer’s Blues by Christy Barritt

Christy Barritt is an author, freelance writer and speaker. This Writer’s Journey Wednesday, she’s here to share tips on what to do when feeling discouraged.

How to Chase Away the Writer's Blues

Seasons of discouragement come and go for every author. But sometimes when it hits, it hits hard. Numerous authors have walked — or attempted to walk — away from writing as self doubt begins to plague them, burying itself in their self-confidence and assurances.

When you begin to feel discouraged, here are a few important things to remember:

* Rejections don’t mean you’re not good. Rejections happen to all of us. They're unavoidable and don't mean we're bad writers. They mean your story didn't fit a need or didn't meet an editor's preference.

* Know that publishing isn’t instantaneous. Some writers spend ten plus years working on developing their craft before they're ever published. Be patient. Dreams rarely come true overnight and neither does being published.

* Write and then write some more. The best way to learn how to write is by writing and reading. This helps us develop our skills. Someone once said writers have the longest apprenticeship of any profession. I don't know if that's true, but it does take time to become a good writer.

* Become a sponge. Join writers groups, take workshops or college courses on improving your craft. Soak up everything you can and continue to learn.

* Give yourself a break. Sometimes the best thing one can do is step back from writing and take a breather. This will give us a clear head and oftentimes a renewed inspiration.

* Seek God’s approval. Pray that God will remove or strengthen your desire according to His will. If He has other, bigger and better plans for your life, then ask Him to show you those and give you the strength to pursue other mediums.

* Don’t entertain negative thoughts.
They will fester and grow. Deal with them and move on.

* If you can walk away from writing, then you should. This is the most difficult piece of advice but it’s true. If writing is something you’d feel good about leaving and not returning to, then you should. Writers have a passion for their work — a call. If writing is truly your passion, you won't be able to walk away.

* Get the opinion of someone valued and trusted. If you’re truly questioning if writing is what you should be doing and if you have any talent at it, then find someone who knows English and writing and get their opinion. Plead for honesty. Sometimes, we’re met to write for ourselves and other times, we’re met to write for others. Talking to someone trusted might help you find out which category you fall into.

* Press on toward the prize. Remember, it’s God who sustains you. Let Him hold you up and carry you through.

To find out more about Christy and her work, please visit her Web site.

Christy Barritt’s newest book, Suspicious Minds (Kregel, 2008) is a lighthearted mystery about a sassy crime-scene cleaner who likes to stick her nose into police business. The book won the inspiration category for the 2009 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery. The first book in the series was Hazardous Duty, a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year contest. She’s also the co-author of Changed: True Stories of Finding God in Christian Music (Standard, 2005). She’s married to Scott, a teacher and funny man extraordinaire. They have one son, 2 dogs, and a houseplant named Martha. When Christy’s not writing, she enjoys having coffee with friends, taking crazy road trips that usually involve no maps and flipping coins, and making her three-year-old giggle.


  1. Thanks, Christy!

    I think most writers face moments of discouragement. I certainly do. These are all great reminders of what we can do to chase those awful blues away. :-)


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